Why I’m Going to Philadelphia

Being a Delegate to DNC

I wore an A-shaped sky blue skirt and a lighter blue top—both garments expertly made by my mother who, when not teaching physics or chemistry at a local high school, moonlighted as my personal seamstress. A red pair of shoes with white socks and a string of red beads around my neck completed in my 8-year old mind a perfectly coordinated outfit. As every morning, my mother braided my long hair into a ponytail and I was sent off to school …

Read More »

Settlement with the Hopi Tribal Council

Posponed Indefinitely

On Tuesday, I made a motion to postpone the Hopi-City of Flagstaff settlement indefinitely. That motion passed and the item is dead unless somebody brings it up as a new agenda item. I have never been comfortable with the terms of this settlement language and while a majority of the Council drove the negotiations between the Hopi Tribal Council and the City of Flagstaff, I was not a part of that majority. Just before the Tuesday Council meeting we received a very unfriendly, factually …

Read More »

Native Americans as True Partners

On October 20, the Council will be considering my future agenda request that is motivated by the desire to finally recognize our Native American friends and neighbors as true partners whose voice is reflected in our decisions. To treat the Native American Community with respect means that we go beyond recognizing their rich cultural heritage only as a contributor to the local economy.

My request for the future agenda item has three components. They are not individual requests but rather steps I want the Council to …

Read More »

Silencing Minority

Over time and across issues political power shifts. Those who enjoy being a part of majority today may find themselves in a minority position tomorrow. But what allows democracy to thrive even when we are not all on the same page is that a minority has the opportunity to have its voice heard.

By introducing a change to the rule of how many councilmembers it takes to advance an item onto the Council agenda, Councilmember Oravits wants to silence the minority voice. Changing the current rule …

Read More »

Proposed Amendments to the City Charter — Mail-only election — November 3, 2015

In the interest of democracy, transparency, and balance of power vote YES on #3 (and related #5) and NO on the rest.

Three questions (#1, #2, and #7) would strengthen the political influence of City Manager, reduce transparency and accountability, and tip the delicate power balance away from the people of Flagstaff who elect the City Council. Vote NO on #1, #2, and #7. Here are examples of consequences if these questions were to pass:

City manager could call special meetings without any consultation even though he …

Read More »

Will the Council Defend Flagstaff’s Constitutional Rights?

On June 2, the Council will discuss joining the Flagstaff Living Wage Coalition’s legal action challenging the constitutionality of ARS 23-204, which preempts local authority to regulate compensation and benefits contrary to voter adopted Proposition 202.

Email council@flagstaffaz.gov and come to the Council meeting on June 2 at 6 pm to ask the councilmembers to defend the City’s constitutional rights against the State’s overreach by becoming a plaintiff in the lawsuit filed by the Flagstaff Living Wage Coalition.

About the Merit of the Lawsuit

On April 10, 2015, …

Read More »

November 2015 Special Election Ballot Questions

The Council will soon decide what charter amendment questions to ask voters during the November 2015 special election. The final ballot language will be approved on June 16. Until then, keep emailing the Council at council@flagstaffaz.gov requesting to put forward only a single question to ratify future election dates to be in August/ November of even numbered years. Ask the Council to make sure the November ballot does not include a question that could change the term of Mayor from current 2 to 4 years. …

Read More »

Flagstaff Municipal Courthouse

Last night, the Flagstaff City Council received an interesting presentation on a new municipal courthouse proposal. Instead of a $23 million project that failed to appeal to Flagstaff voters in the 2010 bond elections, the court administrator presented a $12 million proposal to remodel and expand the existing facility on Beaver Street. There is a well-known saying that goes something like this “the most sustainable building is the one that is already built.” The administrator also assured us that the facility will meet or exceed …

Read More »

It’s not always sunny in Arizona

I woke up this morning to an e-mail from the Governor’s Office announcing that Arizona legislators passed a “fiscally-responsible” budget. What the GOP legislators joined by Sen. Carlyle Begay (D) did is both disingenuous and very irresponsible. First, let’s not forget that this has been a manufactured budget crisis very intentionally brought to us by the Republican legislators through corporate tax cuts. Second, our own district representatives—Barton, Allen, and Thorpe supported this ill-conceived budget and contributed significantly to the erosion of the state revenue that …

Read More »